HE Abdulla Nasser Al Rahbi, Ambassador & Permanent Representative, Oman Mission; HE Dr Ali Talib Ali Al-Hinai, Undersecretary for Planning Affairs at the Health Ministry and Dr Seth Berkley, Gavi CEO at the signature of the pledge in Geneva. Credit: Gavi/2015.
Geneva, 28 May 2015 – The Government of the Sultanate of Oman today committed US$ 3 million to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance - the first time Oman has provided funds to help Gavi reach children with vaccines in the world’s poorest countries.
“Oman is joining the global drive to protect children from potentially-fatal diseases,” said Dr Seth Berkley, Gavi CEO. “This new contribution will help us achieve our goal of supporting developing countries to immunise 300 million more children between 2016 and 2020, saving up to six million more lives.”
Oman’s contribution comes days after the World Health Assembly agreed on a resolution to improve access to sustainable supplies of affordable vaccines and highlighted the important role immunisation plays in reducing child deaths while also being a highly cost-effective public health intervention
Every year, nearly 22 million children, mainly in poor countries, do not receive a full course of even the most basic vaccines. More than one in five of all children who die before the age of five lose their lives to vaccine-preventable diseases.
“The Sultanate of Oman is always in support of all noble causes and humanitarian aid,” said HE Dr Ali Talib Ali Al-Hinai, Undersecretary for Planning Affairs at the Ministry of Health. “Saving lives of children is considered of utmost importance, which can be achieved through vaccination. For these reasons, Oman pledges to support this issue through Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which is making great efforts to fight child diseases globally.”
Since 2000, Gavi has invested more than US$ 3.8 billion to introduce vaccines in 33 member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). This amounts to more than 50% of all Gavi’s disbursements to date. For the 2016 to 2020 period, Gavi projects that 60% of its funding will support immunisation programmes in OIC member countries who are eligible for Gavi support.
Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has helped immunise half a billion children, saving 7 million lives. In January, world leaders joined German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin to raise US$ 7.5 billion to ensure Gavi-supported programmes are fully funded between 2016 and 2020. This will enable the Vaccine Alliance to support countries to reach an additional 300 million children with vaccines, leading to a further five to six million lives being saved.